Τρίτη, 23 Ιουνίου 2015

Interview with Sergali Adilbekov, founder of Swiss Social

Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog and update us on your latest ventures.

My name is Sergali, I am originally from Kazakhstan, educated in the USA, and now living in Switzerland. My career brought to many different industries such as private equity, agricultural and construction equipment, all vertical chain of oil & gas businesses, and accumulating many social contacts through work and travel I decided to start a few social initiatives that would let me share interesting things among the people that I know and offer them a platform to network with each other at a cardinally new high-quality level. That's when I started my two latest ventures - I'm the Founder & Curator of TEDxLugano conference and the Founder & Owner of Swiss Social networking club.

The goal and purpose of Greek Social Network Club and introduction to the wider global organization? 

Greek Social is one of the daughter projects of Swiss Social (that became quite viral and successful in Switzerland). Our vision is to create local networking clubs that would allow all-inclusive membership, which means - people are not discriminated towards like it's done currently in all other networking societies - we do not exclude anyone due to their specialized interests (expats, professionals, students, women-only societies, etc.) and instead offer everyone a chance to come and build their own personal networks through our resources. One of the biggest breakthroughs that we have introduced is we require our event organizational team to study the profiles of the people coming and connect them by making the first introductions, that way people avoid feeling the discomfort of having to that themselves. The organizers prepare and know who to introduce to who, raising infinitely the probability of a good friendly/professional relationship match.

Do you see opportunities nowadays in the Greek economy? Your opinion on the Greek startup ecosystem? 

The Greek economy is objectively in a dire state at the moment, therefore people need to reorganize in order to find a way to make it work again. If someone wants to have new results, he/she has to think in new ways. Greek Social offers a completely new plane of interactions, free of politics or economics, which would enable the new cohesion within the society. Imagine the "active networking" as a potential instrument to re-stitch the society from within into a better organized circles of connections which will function much better than before, when people grew their personal networks through sporadic family or professional contacts.

The startup eco system in Greece plays a very important role here - these are the advanced guys with a vision into the future, only they can change the country's situation, only they can offer to be the best examples of structured builders of their own social circles. I believe Greek Social's main target is of course the entrepreneurs who have a love for all new ventures and would probably find it very interesting to participate in our social project.

Please close this interview the way you see fit.

At the moment, the Swiss Social team has done an experimental first networking event in Athens and has seen the huge potential in it as the people who came, expressed their desire to know more and to come to the upcoming events. We are looking for dedicated people locally who could be interested to enter our team of organizers in Athens to continue our networking events. The positions are all volunteer in our organization, but at the same time very rewarding as it gives the organizers an amazing visibility over the social scene locally.

We will be happy to receive the CVs of people interested to apply for these positions to info@swiss-social.com.




Thank you very much for this interview Sergali! - Stathis Kassios

Τετάρτη, 29 Απριλίου 2015

Say Hello to Moovit 4.0!

Read more about the totally revamped new version for Android here: http://moovitapp.com/blog/say-hello-to-moovit-4-0/

Join Community Moovit Greece here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Community.Moovit.Greece/?fref=ts

Official website: http://moovitapp.com/gr/

Σάββατο, 14 Μαρτίου 2015

Interview with Joanna Vaiou

1) Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog 

My name is Joanna Vaiou and I am a Search Engine Optimization specialist. Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” is a combination of technical and internet marketing strategies for websites and other web properties in order to appear on the left side results of the 1st page of a search engine (like Google.gr), when someone types relevant keywords for products or services in the search box. 

2) How did you get involved with SEO in the first place?

Well, if I have to sum my story up, I would say the following:

- In 2004, I got my Bachelor degree in “Science and Art of Economics” from ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI.

- After college I worked at several non-satisfying jobs.

- My SEO journey started 6 years ago in 2009. 

- I was fired up to learn and start something new that I would totally love and find exciting as well as something that would allow me to have a better quality of life (more freedom and independence, less stress and more enjoyment).

- I knew from back then that some people run complete businesses online, working remotely from the internet. People who are allowed to live a lifestyle with more freedom, no 9am-5pm conventional office jobs, no waiting once or twice a year to take some days off work and go on holidays etc.

- Freedom and living my everyday life on my own terms was what I always dreamt about. My future occupation should fit these standards.

- As such, I started looking around the internet and ran into some online trainings courses on how to promote a business online in order to be found by people who were looking for exactly what a business owner has to offer.

- As such, I learnt how to make a website on my own through Wordpress content management system, with no coding or web development studies or background.

- I soon then realized that having a website was not enough. People must always be able to find a website and what it offers when they look for relevant information. And where do the majority of people look for all kinds of information? It is “Google” of course.

- As such, from March 2009 I started extensive online self-training in SEO exclusively.

- In September 2011, I applied and got a job as a SEO Director at Globe One Digital, one of the best Internet Marketing Agencies in Greece where I stayed for 1 year.

- In 2013 I started my own SEO consulting business in Athens Greece, where I do SEO for my clients two years now.

3) The present & future of being a SEO professional in Greece?

The present moment is the best to start getting involved with SEO in Greece and the future is even brighter. Every business owner wants to be found on top page of Google in the organic (left side) results for relevant searches. But there are only 10 spots there and not everyone can appear there most of the times without knowing how to do contemporary “SEO”. By simply appearing there, the business owner increases the authority and trust level for his brand and this is a great asset to have when it comes to acquiring new customers or clients in the near future. SEO is an “art and science” and it evolves (changes) so frequently that today’s SEO will probably be next week’s, month’s or year’s “water under the bridge” SEO. It is a digital marketing and business development expertise that every business owner in the world would love to acquire but very few professionals really have. That is because it requires constant fresh education daily and a huge passion to follow how the SEO industry evolves. It is not a 9am-5pm conventional job. Although in Greece, it is relatively easy to get one if you know just the basics and have one or two case studies to present to your potential employer. There is no real competition. SEO positions open every now and then in Greece and the road is wide open if you are in for the ride. If you are wondering “Where Can SEO Take Me?”, well this is totally up to you and what kind of life you want to live:

- Being a newbie with a little seo expertise, can get you a job at an agency or another company that can afford SEO in Greece, because there is little to no competition.

- If you have advanced knowledge in SEO plus you live and breathe with it, it can really take you anywhere you wish. If you want more than a SEO office job and you have the confidence and expertise to sell your knowledge and results to clients, you can work as an independent consultant from the comfort of your own home and offer your services remotely. You can be a trainer, do educational seminars, run your own affiliate websites selling other people’s products, build, rank and sell websites, whatever is that you really want. There are really no limits. This is how amazing seo is.

- Imagine SEO being like a relatively new weird FANCY “bicycle” that everybody stares at… But in order to ride it, it requires very special training... Knowing SEO allows you to ride that fancy bicycle to unknown destinations. You will choose your own destination that will fulfill your professional and personal goals. 

4) Do small & medium business owners and companies really understand SEO and its benefits?

From my experience so far, small, medium and large business owners have little to no understanding of what SEO is and how it works, as well as the benefits of it for their business. This is a reason why I usually consult and train my potential clients before we close a deal. I want my clients to understand what they are buying and why they are buying it. I have found that not doing so can result in a future conflict that can break our deal. I wrote a post about what SEO is and how it works on my website.

5) How can people contact you to express interest in your SEO services?

Whoever is interested in social networking with me can add me on Linkedin here.

For business inquiries, I prefer to be contacted via email at jo@joannavaiou.com.

Thank you for having me here on your blog. 
Joanna Vaiou 

Thank you for your time & your answers! 
Stathis Kassios 

The readers of this blog & interview exclusively enjoy a 10% discount for their company's SEO needs by Joanna Vaiou. Email me at skassios(at)gmail.com to receive your personal discount code!

Πέμπτη, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2015

My personal tips & predictions for 2015

Dear readers,

These are my personal tips & predictions for 2015:

- Change will be inevitable in every company and organization independent of its size. If you do not enhance a culture of change, your company will not survive. Formulate a Change Strategy and closely monitor changing consumer behaviors, new and emerging business models, increasing competition.
- The experience of your brand should be communicated in a coherent way both online and offline.
-  Customers want to enjoy the same quality of information across all your marketing channels and platforms.
- All internet users are becoming publishers. 
- Virtual and augmented reality, will change our perception for brands, products, services, communication and the way we interact with each other.
- Storytelling will be embraced by digital marketers in order to grasp targeted audiences.
- Media companies will be hot for producing niche content and monetizing it.
- Mobile analytics will help you understand how your customers interact with your products and services. Leverage mobile payments.
- Big data: we are gathering enormous amount of data from websites, mobiles, etc. 
- Wearable tech will leverage big data. We will have access to vast amounts of personalized big data through our wearable tech gadgets. Algorithms will help you make smart decisions.
- Big data generates Artificial Intelligence. In 2014, a computer program named Eugene Groostman beat the Turing test. 
- Are 3D printers the next industrial revolution? Which industries will be affected the most?
- Internet of Things (IoT) will connect every electronic device with the world wide web. Households will buy more IoT devices in the near future.
- GNR is continuing to accelerate in an exponential pace. Genetics, Nanotechnology, Robotics. Companies like Google, Microsoft and others, are investing millions in acquiring GNR companies. Nanorobots will also be enhanced in medicine.
- Global economy is hurt by uncertainty. Troubled countries should focus in private invstement and entrepreneurship.
- Falling oil prices will affect both winner and loser oil producing countries, importers & exporters.
- Current social and economic unrest, technological changes, are affecting how people perceive governments around the world.
- Startups are disrupting existing business models (See UBER).
- Experience the crisis in your country as an opportunity.

Feel welcome to post your comments and thoughts!


Δευτέρα, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Legal advice to new entrepreneurs & company registration information - Interview with Maria Tsiliakou

1. Please introduce yourself to the readers of this blog.

My name is Maria Tsiliakou and I am attorney at law for the last 15 years. I obtain an LLM in International Commercial and Business Law, Intellectual and Industrial Rights and I am Arbitrator by ACCI (Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry). As legal counsel of many Greek and multinational businesses I have dealt with a wide range of legal issues that a businessman often has to face. On scientific level I have obtained an MA and a PhD in Criminology.

2. The last few years many new startups and companies are being established in Greece. At the same time, the current taxation system is uncertain and heavy taxation does not favor new entrepreneurs who have to invest their limited resources & budget to grow their company. Which EU countries offer an attractive business environment for starting-up a business?
Each case is different and needs to be treated differently. In Greece there is a high tax on certain types of companies, but there are incentives given to new entrepreneurs. Do not forget that a company in Greece enjoys the security of the EU and can be easily financed through European programs or participate in some European Projects. For example, if an off shore company is to be built, will it have the same opportunities? Of course not. That's why I suggest before entering a company the new entrepreneur receives advice by his legal counsel.

3. What kind of solutions & advice are you able to offer to Greek startups & companies for a tax effective structure, their business operations and planning needs?

Despite the fact that in Greece the tax is high enough for the companies, I would suggest young entrepreneurs not only to resort to setting up an IKE (Private Capital Company), a relatively new corporate entity for the Greek data.

The main advantages of the above mentioned briefly: corporation’s charter may be established by a private document, company’s capital may be of 1 euro. In this case, raising capital tax – the payment of which is mandatory in all types of companies – is limited automatically to 1 cent, the late establishment and operation are much smaller and the annual expenditure for the company's operation is more economical, partners ensure their individual property as their obligation is limited to the amount of the capital. This means less stress, in case something goes wrong. Also, whoever has the biggest share takes the decision, and is able to transfer the real head office abroad maintaining its registered office in Greece.

4. Your view on business migration of a company's legal structure, part of its production, warehouses, services, in other countries while keeping operations in Greece? 

The establishment of companies abroad has certainly the advantage of lower taxes and less bureaucracy, when selected a country of incorporation of these features. But it must be clear to stakeholders that often a company’s accounting tracking and practice abroad requires a minimum number of people to be employed in the country where the company is registered, where wage rates or time charges in particular are much higher.

Finally, I would like to point out that if the partner as an individual states the income of the foreign company in Greece, he will be taxed here regularly for the rest of the tax rate remaining. That is, if the individual is taxed in the country of residence of the company to a percentage of 10%, then he will be taxed in Greece with the rest of the recovery percentage.

5. Incorporating your start-up company in Greece vs. abroad?

The establishment of companies in Greece or abroad has more to do with the profile of each entrepreneur on the scope of his activity, the expected profit and growth. As I said, each case is unique and therefore it should be considered and studied separately so as to propose one or more solutions that fit each entrepreneur.

6. Please close this interview the way you see fit. How can people reach you?

My office is staffed by qualified legal associates and together we can provide the most suitable solutions and suggestions for every entrepreneur. It is situated in Pagkrati Attikis (Sp. Merkouri st. 22B, t: 210 7211939), very close to Evangelismos metro station. A quick look around and view of our office can have one on our website www.tsiliakou.gr. In any case, please do not hesitate to visit our office in order to discuss with us and find the most economical and suitable solution to implement in legal terms your business idea.

Thank you for your answers!
Stathis Kassios


The readers of this blog & interview exclusively enjoy a 10% discount for their startup's or company's incorporation fees, 15% discount for other legal services & consulting by Maria Tsiliakou Law Office. Email me at skassios@gmail.com to receive your personal discount code.